adie Jones is an exciting new author with heart, gusto, and a knack for story-telling that is nostalgic and exciting at the same time. We, at The Parliament House are excited to introduce her contemporary fantasy trilogy, Moonlit and the subsequent novels, Wildwood & Windswept! A busy mom in Oregon, Jadie has agreed to take time to stop by our blog and treat us with an interview about her budding career in publishing.
[PH] We are so excited to re-introduce your imaginative new contemporary fantasy trilogy! What is Moonlit about?
[JJ] Tanzy Hightower loses her father in a suspicious accident. In search of answers, she meets a fortune teller who sends her into the past to learn why his murder was a thousand years in the making. Destiny, betrayal, frenemies, magic, reincarnation, mystery, and loss; Moonlit has been called “a magnificent explosion shot backwards,” which I love.
[PH] That is so exciting! We especially love the "frenemies" part. Keeps the reader guessing! We also love how your incorporate the idea of spirit animals in your story (for lack of the official term). Describe the significance of including your equestrian background in with your stories. What does it mean to you?
[JJ] I like to believe in the idea of magic, and horses are a tangible magic to me, proof that fantasy can and does exist. Also, horses have been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. Bringing in an equestrian element helped me make my main character more authentic, because I understood that aspect of her from the very beginning, and could build the rest of her from there.
[PH] Some fantastic writing advice is to write what you know best, and what you're most passionate about. When writing, do you place a little bit of the real people in your life into your characters? Who most inspires you?
[JJ] I would say about half of my characters initially come from someone I know or briefly encounter. As they develop, the similarities that remain are more coincidence than anything. I am inspired by people who aren’t afraid to make mistakes. Growing up, I was terrified to make mistakes – I felt like if I made a mistake, I should just pack up and quit. I have since learned the value in being really terrible at something, and I appreciate the drive, process, and tenacity it takes to earn a skill. I am also inspired by people who speak their truths. My grandmother calls anything and everything exactly like she sees it. She’s my favorite person on the planet.
[PH] Mistakes and "back to the drawing board" are part of any career in the arts, that's for sure! Which bodes our next question: When you’re stuck, where do you draw your literary inspiration from?
[JJ] If I’m stuck, I’m trying too hard, or I have missed something in the big picture that has left a giant sink hole in the path my character is trying to walk. When this happens, I have found the best remedy is to go outside and do something mindless: clean stalls, groom a horse, plant something, rake leaves, etc. And generally, I will see either where the hole is, or learn something about a character that inspires a better place than I was initially working toward.
[PH] We all have our "rituals" that get us out of our writing rut! Are you a quirky author? Do you have specific rituals and methods you must perform before you begin writing?
[JJ] I used to have quirks: a cup of black tea and a salty snack were a must, and I had to draft in silence. Now, I have three kids: a five year old, a two year old, and a six month old. My rituals now include turning on a Dora the Explorer DVD and doling out snacks for them. Then I perch on the kitchen counter and draft in furious spurts while they’re all happy.
[PH] Sounds like you have a lot to balance, so what keeps you going? Coffee or tea?
[JJ] I like tea more than coffee, because I drink more of it without getting jittery or headaches. But, now that I have three small kids, coffee has become a necessity. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to write a complete sentence. But both coffee and tea are just ways to be able to drink something sweet. I have a terrible sweet tooth!
[PH] In this office, we literally cannot function without our CoffeeMate creamer! Haha. So, where are you headed? Where do you see your literary career in five years from now?
[JJ] In five years, my youngest will be starting kindergarten, which will be devastating and exciting, because it will mark a new chapter in my life: my nest will be empty for seven hours a day… and I will be able to write full time during normal people hours. My goal, between now and then, is to keep honing my craft, keep current, and keep pushing. I hope to find and grow my reader tribe, and to keep delivering stories they enjoy, and to turnout a manuscript every 12-18 months. A personal goal of mine is to have this story go to film. It’s extremely visual, and would be fantastic to see brought to life. It would also be great to have a book (or three) hit the Amazon best seller list.
[PH] We, at The Parliament House, are excited to help you make a bestseller list happen! So, what most excites you about working with The Parliament House on this new release?
[JJ] I am thrilled that the Moonlit Trilogy has found a home with the Parliament House. When I first learned of TPH, I was drawn to how fresh and edgy the company felt, then I learned who was at the helm: Shayne Leighton, who is a talented, creative force of nature, and someone I have admired for several years. I queried The Parliament House immediately. This fit is a dream come true, and the passion, drive, and integrity of this publishing team is inspiring. I am most excited about the team at The Parliament House helping me make the Moonlit Trilogy the very best it can be. It’s not a formula read, and I feel certain its risks and oddities are in the perfect hands with this team.
[PH] We will absolutely be making magic with you! Finally, what is some good advice you can offer to budding young fantasy writers?
[JJ] Finish your first draft without cutting anything along the way, and embrace the fact that it will be really, epically terrible. A first draft is essentially stumbling around in a dark, unfamiliar room. You think you remember where walls and sharp corners are, but you can’t be sure of much else. The whole goal of the first draft is to figure out how you get in the room, why you came in, if you can leave, and where the heck the light switch is. Also, read “On Writing” by Stephen King, and “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott (which is where I learned the value of “bad” drafting.)
[PH] Thanks so much for joining us, Jadie! We look forward to featuring many more exciting announcements about you and your writing career!